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Rude awakening for stranded legislators

Does anybody feel a shred of sympathy for the MPs who missed their flight from China last week?


These are opportunists who have been feeding at the national trough for some time.

Many have received vehicles and refused to return them. But with regard to the China trip, what we have here is a whole gang of legislators who didn’t understand the importance of being on time for their connections.

We can see them now, tempted by some deal or other, shooting across China on the bullet train in pursuit of a better deal in Guangdong province.

The MPs, believed to be 27 in number, and drawn from both major parties, were enticed by the availability of cheaper goods in the south.

“The MPs became overwhelmed with China,” a NewsDay source reported, “and decided to travel to Guangdong for more shopping after they were enticed by the lure of cheaper prices.”


Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene, the leader of the delegation, advised the group not to travel to Guangdong as it was a long way from Beijing where the travellers had arrived from Harare. The MPs ignored his advice and proceeded to the southern metropolis by high speed train.

“We tried to persuade them not to travel to Guangdong as it is very far,” they were told by one of the organisers. “But they did not listen. They did not have enough money and they were stranded at Beijing airport.”

Others were fortunate and managed to return from Guangdong on time to catch the Air Zim flight back to Harare.

Zimbabweans travelling abroad should report to airports for their flights at least two hours ahead of take off. This is not something generally understood as is the rule about weight.

Zimbabweans can be seen boarding aircraft in the Far East loaded with items which they then attempt to squeeze into the overhead compartments threatening to invade the space of more orderly travellers.

Some airlines are generous with weight but many others have to accept that their hand luggage will be placed in the hold where it is vulnerable to predators.
Let’s hope Zimbabwean travellers will have been given a lesson in the importance of being prompt from this episode.


What’s really egregious about this whole debacle are revelations reported in NewsDay last Saturday that the MPs travelled to China on tickets reserved for the disabled!

Harare Metropolitan Senator Rorana Muchihwa (MDC-T) said the stranded MPs had to fork out an additional US$900 to come back home after they were told that their tickets would not be rescheduled because they were for disabled persons.

“Imagine, I was surprised when the Chinese brought us some wheelchairs intending to carry us thinking that we were disabled. That was embarrassing,” Muchihwa said.

What was embarrassing should be the fact that the MPs agreed to travel on disabled persons tickets in the first place.

This is gross abuse of office by the lawmakers whose responsibility should be to protect disadvantaged persons and not to go shopping pretending to be disabled persons.

This is not the first time that we have seen our rulers claiming disability to gain a vantage place at the feeding trough.

Muckraker wants to take this opportunity to remind the nation that 20 years ago senior officials in our government claimed disability up to 100% in order to raid the national purse. And now MDC MPs happily branded themselves disabled in order to go shopping in China.

The Chinese airport officials should not have just brought wheelchairs, but straitjackets as well.

Misdirected attack

Herald columnist Tichaona Zindoga devoted an entire column to attacking Morgan Tsvangirai last Wednesday. He was “a monumental coward”, Zindoga declared. His support was growing thinner by the day.

Tsvangirai has indeed been a disappointment to many. He has failed to provide the leadership that the country so badly needs in the year since elections.
But cowardice is not something Tsvangirai can easily be accused of if one recalls the false claims brought against him such as the Ben-Manashe case.
Indeed, Tsvangirai was besieged daily at one point by state-inspired conspiracy theories which failed to fly.

Many of his supporters lost their lives in the struggle for democracy. One thinks of Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya burnt alive by an intelligence officer who still roams free.

Tsvangirai himself was the victim of a “got-up” treason case packed with silly allegations which all fell away before plea.

And what of Zindoga who calls Tsvangirai a coward. Who is the coward here? He who has no record of resistance to dictatorship and works for a newspaper which is not even allowed to speak truth to power.

Zindoga evidently thinks we will be impressed when his column contains a snippet of French and Latin! The “piece de resistance” is delusional. There is no resistance at the Herald. Their “journalists” do what they are told!


There is a spat going on, we are told, between Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and deputy minister Chris Mutsvangwa.

Mutsvangwa claims he is being sidelined in the ministry and that this is unacceptable given the deputy minister’s wide experience of diplomacy. He was at one time ambassador to China.

Mutsvangwa accused Mumbengegwi of failing a diplomatic test when he applied for a Belgian travel visa for First Lady Grace Mugabe to enable her to accompany her husband to attend the EU/AU summit knowing full well the visa could not be issued.

Muckraker recalls Mumbengegwi’s tenure as High Commissioner in London, a job carried out with limited diplomatic skill.

Herbert Murerwa did much better.

Upon his return, Mumbengegwi was inclined to summon envoys for a collective dressing down. They obviously resented being treated like children but that didn’t stop him!

We wonder what Patrick Chinamasa thought of being accompanied by this charmless operator on his re-engagement trips.

Short and Sweet …

Brazil’s World Cup optimism shattered

Brazil’s ambitious and optimistic national campaign to win the World Cup on home soil for the first time didn’t just end Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. It fell to pieces as if there had been nothing holding it together in the first place.

In a 7-1 loss to Germany, the Seleção — as Brazil’s national team is known — was humiliated so thoroughly that the 58 000 fans inside the Estádio Mineirão seemed to be in a state of emotional paralysis before halftime.

Germany’s 7-to-1 victory over Brazil in the 2014 World Cup semifinal is one for the history books. Goal by goal, the Germans rewrote Brazilian soccer history.
The Seleção hadn’t lost a competitive game on home soil since 1975. It hadn’t conceded as many as four goals in a World Cup game since 1954. And it goes without saying that no team has ever given up seven goals in a World Cup semifinal.

At the end of the first breathless half, the score was 5-0. One viewer twitted: “This is crazy, like watching the Zim dollar fall during hyperinflation!”

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